Craveri's Murrelet Synthliboramphus craveri

  • © Jim Gilbert

Three very similar species of small, gray and white alcids (Synthliboramphus) occur in southern California and in northwestern Mexico. These three species generally replace one another, from north to south, but Craveri's and Guadalupe (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) murrelets both breed on San Benito Island, and at sea all three may sea overlap, in part, in the nonbreeding season. Craveri’s Murrelet is the southernmost member of this group, nesting on islands in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) and, very locally, off the Pacific coast of Baja California. In late summer and early fall, however Craveri's Murrelets disperse to the Pacific Ocean, north, in small numbers, to waters off of southern or central California. This occurs most frequently during very warm water years. This is not an abundant bird, as it is estimated that the global population may be as low as 6-10,000 individuals. Craveri's Murrelet breeds from January to July. It nest in crevices in rocks, near the water line, and the clutch is two eggs. Craveri’s Murrelet is very similar to Scripps's Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) and Guadalupe Murrelet, and identification at sea can be difficult. The black on the side of the face Craveri’s extends to just under the bill (the chin is white in the two other species); Craveri's has a dark spur on the sides of the breast; and the underwing coverts are dusky (not white). In view of its small and decreasing population, the conservation status of Craveri's Murrelet is assessed as Vulnerable.

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© Emma Hurley

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Craveri's Murrelet (Synthliboramphus craveri), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: